Yet another Brandeis PhD wins Pulitzer Prize in History

The Gulf cover artPhoto/courtesy, Liveright.

Jack E. Davis, PhD’94, has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize in History for his 2017 book “The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea.” Davis is the third Brandeis PhD recipient to win a Pulitzer Prize in History since 2006. 

In announcing the prizewinners on April 16, the Pulitzer Prize board described the “The Gulf” as “an important environmental history of the Gulf of Mexico that brings crucial attention to Earth’s 10th-largest body of water, one of the planet’s most diverse and productive marine ecosystems.”

The book has received critical praise since it was published last year, with the New York Times calling Davis’ work “a beautiful homage to a neglected sea, a lyrical paean to its remaining estuaries and marshes, and a marvelous mash-up of human and environmental history.”

Along with Davis, previous recent winners of the Pulitzer Prize in History who received a PhD from Brandeis include David M. Oshinsky, PhD’71, who won in 2006 for “Polio: An American Story”; and Alan Taylor, PhD’86, who won in 2014 for “The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832." Taylor also previously won the prize in 1996 for "William Cooper's Town." Additionally, David Kertzer, PhD’74, who received his degree in anthropology, won in 2015 for “The Pope and Mussolini.” Oshinsky and Taylor both won in the history category, while Kertzer won in the biography category. Along with the recent alumni recipients of the Pulitzer, University Professor Emeritus of History David Hackett Fischer won the prize in 2005 for "Washington's Crossing."

“We are thrilled that another one of our own, the talented Jack E. Davis, has won one of the highest honors in our field," said Leff Families Professor of History Michael Willrich. "Brandeis has always prized original, deeply researched, and creative history, especially when it is presented in such compelling prose.”

For more on Davis, read this Q&A from the Tampa Bay Times.

Categories: Alumni, Humanities and Social Sciences

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